USA

Fun in the sand pit


Vasile:

Matt told me that he was going to take me riding in the desert today. A lot of you that know me will know that I get pretty excited about things like this.

We started off around noon going toward Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert. My day changed as soon as I turned my ABS off.

Once off the pavement, we hit some really nice sandy parts with a lot of big boulders, some paved patches, crossing the San Andreas fault. It took me only a few seconds to warm up in the sand, and then I realized I had to be on the throttle in order to keep the smile round:)

We went through a canyon, which was the most technical part of the way.

Then we got up on a ridge, on more sandy and flowy stuff. That’s where Matt kicked it in high gear.

All in all, it was a really beautiful, scenic landscape, with Joshua Trees on both sides of the road. The temperature was just right for riding in the desert (87 F).

We stopped after a pretty fast sandy section for lunch and we met three guys from New York on BMWs 1200 GS. The only time a BMW rider doesn’t brag about their bikes, it’s in the sand:) It was probably hard for them, but they complimented our bikes.

We took the highway out of the park and rushed back to our time share to hit the well deserved swimming pool.

We had a really, really great day, and now we are having stake dinner with our girls, and preparing to cross the Mexican border tomorrow, early in the morning.

Categories: USA | 2 Comments

San Jose to Palm Springs


We left San Jose the next morning, and we hit again the twisties, to cross Mount Hamilton.

Beautiful road, and lots of deers and squirrels on the side of the road (everywhere, not just here), which is cute, but also made us be a lot more careful, since they can jump in front of you anytime. Especially the squirrels, those little things love to cross the street right when you are speeding towards them – crazy adrenaline junkies!

We stopped at the University of California Observatory, on top of the hill, to take pictures.

Then we rode through the desert all the way to San Luis Obispo.

We camped at Avila Beach Hotsprings and we watched a movie while in the hot pool (that was a first, and it was awesome!)

The next day we woke up in the pouring rain, and we decided we didn’t like to be wet, so why not ride to Palm Springs, where it was nice and sunny. The plan was to get going, and get out of the rain as soon as possible. Well, turned out “soon” was 8:30 PM, when we got to Palm Spring. We rode a whole day in the pouring rain! I think someone up there figured our gear needed a good wash.

When we got to Palm Springs, the wind gusts were so strong there were dunes of sand on the highway!!! I was the lucky one, I did not hit too much sand, but Vasile and Robin danced big time on their bikes. We thought the ride through storms and dark was hard, but hitting the sand in the middle of the highway at 50 miles an hour made that look like a piece of cake.

But in the end all the efforts were so well worth it! We had a great time by the pool today, and then walking around downtown Palm Springs with Robin.

In the meantime Matt and Vasile went to have the new tires for Matt’s bike installed. They were all excited about this huge biking store in San Bernadino that had anything a biker would ever need, all sizes, all colours etc.

Tomorrow, another lazy day for me and Robin (this is my idea of adventure – just kidding, but I needed a rest), while the guys are going to play a bit in the sands of the Mojave desert – Joshua Tree State Park.

To be continued

Categories: USA | 4 Comments

Riding on the coast of California


After a great night at Clarice and Karl’s place, we hit the road again, heading to Douglas City. We had a last camping night with our friend Cristian; the next day Cristian and us parted ways. He turned around to go back to Vancouver (and I heard he got there pretty early, he must have flown back or that bike has more horse power than we think it does).

We took some really scenic routes (Hwy 3 and Hwy 36) and then into some back roads, coming out into Hwy 101 to Garberwille. We stopped to gas up in that little town, where everyone seemed to be very happy. We met a guy at the gas station, and after a little chat about our trip, Vasile asks him “So, what are you doing in this little town?” And the answer comes very honest: “I grow weed, just like everyone else in this town” Now this explains a lot:)

Robin, Mat, Vasile and I took the Hwy 1 towards the coast, a beautiful twisty road; we had a lot of fun!

Then we found a nice place to camp on the beach, and celebrated Robin and Mat’s wedding anniversary with some cheap wine and expensive cheese.

And this is what we woke up to the next day:

Next day we got to San Francisco, where I spent a couple of days of quality time with family, and Vasile fixed his leaking rear suspension at Superplush Suspension

and went to KTM twins to put a face to the voice with the KTM Twins owner (who is an awesome guy).

Tuesday we left San Francisco, and I dropped the fully loaded bike right in front of my sister’s house, before we left, leaving my sister and mom pretty worried, I think:)

We got to San Jose, where we were planning to camp up on the hill, but it got dark, so we had to turn around and find a motel. This is San Jose viewed from up the hills:

Categories: USA | 9 Comments

Good people still exist


Yesterday we had a nice surprise: Cristian, a very good friend of ours, came to join us in Lavenworth. He will be riding with us for 4 days (Chris, I hope you didn’t quit your job at the bank againJ ). He got here in the middle of the night, making Vasile believe someone stole his bike (Chris is riding the same bike, a KTM 990).

In the morning, at breakfast, we met this little nice lady, Clarice, who offered us to stay at her cabin, close to Bend, called La Pine. For FREE!!!! We could not believe how generous she was!

So we hit the road (zero degrees Celsius outside) and we kept riding through these really nice winding roads all the way to Bend. We found Clarice’s husband, Karl, who was more than welcoming and he invited us inside. The cabin was more than we would have ever expected. This cute little thing with a really old TV, stove and fridge, it reminded me of my grand parents’ house. A really nice cosy little place where we cooked some sausages and we had dinner and a glass of wine. Thank you Clarice and Karl!

Categories: USA | 7 Comments

The first couple of days


So we left Vancouver yesterday morning, heading to the misterious South America.

It took us about an hour and a half to cross the border. And then another 2 hours to wait for our good friends, Traian and Razvan, who are pretty much going to do the same trip as us, but on a G-Wagon, and in half the time. We saw them right behind us, but it turned out they had the truck searched at the border, so it took a while.

We finally reunited, so we can part ways again. We will head to San Fran, for a couple of days, and they will head to  Yellowstone National Park.

We will most likely meet again in Los Angeles, and cross the border together.

We had a great ride the first day. Nice twisties, beautiful weather, until we hit the mountains. It all changed in the evening, so the first night we camped in the pouring rain, at New Haven. We enjoyed it though: some Grand Marnier and Cyder warmed us up, and good friendship and company made a great evening.

Next day the weather looked a lot better, so we got up after very little sleep (too cold for me, so I could not really sleep much), and back in the saddle. Beautiful ride through Winthrop, and then we decided to stop in this little gorgeous Bavarian town called Leavenworth.

After having a delicious Bavarian sausage, and a very good glass of wine, we are ready for a good sleep, and then the next ride:)

And you know what? I realized I didn’t come all the way here for nothing. Suddenly, when I saw this little thing, it dawned on me:)

So this is not just a ride, it’s free therapy (well, free might not be the right word).

As we got back to our time share (I know, we got fancy this time:) Mat and Robin have “relations”) we just found an email from Razvan that they got stuck with the G-Wagon in Missoula. Something wrong with their transmission. They are waiting for parts to come from Vancouver. Hopefully they will still catch up so we can meet in Los Angeles.

Categories: USA | 10 Comments

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